Italian Wars 1494-1559AD

By Ian Robertson

The Italian Wars—or Great Italian Wars—described a series of conflicts for control of Italy that took place between 1494 and 1559. The chief participants were France and Spain—but the Holy Roman Empire and neighbouring states were all drawn into the conflict on one side or other.  The French invaded and captured large parts of Italy over the course of the war but were repeatedly driven out by their enemies until the French King Francis finally gave up all claims to Milan in 1559.

The major battles of the war include Marignano in 1515 and Pavia in 1525.

The following lists have been designed to represent the forces of the various participants.

Florence—During Florence's war with Pisa 1495-1506 the Florentine army had 10,000 infantry, trained by professional officers, and composed of 70 percent pikemen, ten percent arquebusiers and 20 percent halberdiers, crossbowmen and sword and buckler men.